Pope Francis and the Catholic ‘glasnost’

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter contends that by moving toward the center, Pope Francis has launched nothing short of a revolution in the Catholic Church:

Revolutions are funny things. Some are launched by one group but hijacked by others … Still others fizzle out, while a handful eventually produce new systems that, despite their flaws, really do change the world. …

It’s too early to know which trajectory will apply to the upheaval launched by Pope Francis, in part because at the level of structures and personnel he still hasn’t made many sweeping changes, and in part because the parallels are inexact anyway — Catholicism, after all, is a family of faith, not a political society.

Perhaps the lone certainty is that a revolution is, indeed, underway. In mid-July, the Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso ran a cover story on the new pope under the banner headline “Ce la farà?” The phrase translates roughly as “Will he make it?” or “Will he pull it off?”

There was no need to explain what “it” meant — everyone, it seems, knows that Francis is trying to engineer a Catholic glasnost.

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